You Obey God?
It is amazing to me that the things we see as insignificant are glaring to the eye that sees everything in the entire past, present, and future of the whole world.
God gave King Saul a very specific directive in
1 Samuel 15:3 ” Now go and attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and do not spare them. But kill both man and woman, infant and nursing child, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.”
Saul gets to Amalek and makes an executive change decision. In essence, Saul says, “Let’s destroy all the worthless things/people and save all the good animals and people (like the king, “Agag”) He uses human thinking and reasoning and actually thinks his idea is better than God’s.
When Samuel catches up to the army, Saul says, “Hey, what’s up Samuel…I did what you said and destroyed everything.” Then, Samuel says something that gives me chills every time I read it.
I Samuel 15:14 But Samuel said, What then is this bleating of the sheep in my ears, and the lowing of the oxen which I hear?
Samuel is having none of this mess. He rebukes Saul, and basically, says his ‘day’ is over.
The details of our disobedience matters. What seems insignificant in our eyes glares in the face of God.
The heart of obedience matters more than the actual duty or works. Obedience has 2 parts: motive and duty. Duty without the right motive or heart is legalism. The ‘horse’ is a heart for God and the ‘cart’ is your duty or work for God. Don’t get the cart before the horse. In fact, Samuel goes on to tell Saul that ‘obedience is greater than sacrifice’. Don’t think that you can just do stuff and please God. Singing particular songs, reading scripture, giving financially, going to church, helping the needy…however you want to fill in that blank (even if you do it sacrificially) is not as important as simply doing what God has asked WITH the right intent.
Saul admits in (v24) that he was persuaded by ‘the people’. They urged him to save certain things. I am sure it sounded similar to “We really don’t need to do that. Let’s save the livestock and use them for our families.” It sounds eerily similar to the lie in the garden of eden. The same lie was believed by lucifer when he was ushered out of heaven, then by Adam and Eve as they were ushered out of the garden of eden, then Saul as he was ushered out of the kingdom. The same lie is believed by many of us and as a result it is ushering many out of the will and plan of God.
Because we live in the ‘New Testament’ era, it changes the redemption plan for humanity. However, I do not believe it changes the concept of God giving directives and humans having the choice to obey or not. Most Christians don’t blatantly disobey, but we tweak the plan and make it a little more safe or appealing. We make it make a little more sense.
There is so much in the Bible that we need to follow. I’m thinking it is pointless to ask God for specific or personal directives until we grasp the ones He has already established in His word. In fact, step one is not asking what the directives are. Step one is…well you need to be at church on Sunday to find out… 🙂